Louisiana Court Records

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Major Louisiana courts that kept records of genealogical value were as follows:

1679-1769: Conseil Superieur, or the French Superior Council, had jurisdiction over land and court matters. The Family History Library has copies of Conseil Superieur records. The originals are at the Louisiana Historical Center.

1769-1803: Spanish cabildo was the Spanish government for the province of Louisiana from 1769 to 1803 and presided over court and land matters. The Family History Library has Cabildo records on microfilm. The originals are at the Louisiana Historical Center.

1800s-present: District courts are district-wide courts with jurisdiction over probate, divorce, equity, criminal, and civil cases. The Family History Library has some district court records. For example, from Orleans Parish the library has minutes (1838-80), judicial records (1880-1921), and successions (1846-80).

1800s-present: Parish courts have parish-wide jurisdiction over criminal and minor civil cases. Most parish courts were abolished in 1846. The Family History Library has some parish court records, including Orleans Parish minutes, 1808-46.

1800s-present: The Supreme court is a statewide court located in New Orleans, which has records of appeals from inferior courts. It was originally created in 1804 as the Superior Court. Supreme Court records are at the Division of Archives, Records Management, and History.

Other Louisiana court records are available from the various parish courthouses. The University of New Orleans Archives also has some court records. Notarial records were kept by the Louisiana courts during some periods. (See the “Notarial Records” section of this outline.)

You may also want to use English Language Summaries of the Records of the French Superior Council and the Judicial Records of the Spanish Cabildo, 1714-1800 (N.p.: Works Project Administration, N.d.;Family History Library films 1292537-38 and 1292541-43 for the French Superior Council; films 1292539-40 for the Spanish Cabildo).